It started with a keyboard riff that has become iconic in rock and a "Runaway" to success that has taken Bon Jovi on a 40-plus year run that is the subject of the documentary "Thank You and Good Night, The Bon Jovi Story," now on Hulu.

A new single, "Legendary," is climbing up the charts, and a new album called "Forever" is coming out June 7.

I caught up with keyboard player David Bryan, who wrote that riff, about all that is happening.

"We actually started the band when I joined a cover band with John when I was 16 and a half in 1978. So we were already working together and came up with a runaway, and then we got a record deal. So that's it, and then we put the band together"

What was it like reliving it?

"Gotham Chopra ... did such a fantastic job. It was so amazing. You know, once we gave interviews, then when we saw like, one of the first cuts, we saw it with like, he put all the pictures, he somehow found all this footage to match all the words that we said it was pretty amazing."

What are you best memories of the early days in New Jersey and Philadelphia?

"We were in a band called The Atlantic City Expressway. And we were John and I were in that from when I was 16 and a half till probably 81 or something like that."

"We had played up and down the Jersey Shore and 35 and down Route nine" says Bryan.

"We played all those clubs as a 10-piece band that did Springsteen and Jukes, we had a big horn section. And then we basically played all the places we could, and then John left to join an original band. Then, I started doing sessions with him at the Power Station because his cousin owned it."

"So we would go in, like four in the morning till 10 In the morning, and record then. "There was a whole bunch of songs, and he had "Runaway", but just the basic song, and then I added the riff",

"Our bar history, we knew how to play for audiences, you know, we can control the bar. We always still say we're the biggest bar band in the world."

How did your Jersey roots help you be grounded in both the music and playing live?

"I think you know, we're from Jersey, we're not an LA thing. You know, it's ours isn't about lifestyle. Ours is all about the music. And that's what we cared about: to play the best music perform the best music, and come up with the best music"

You named an album after New Jersey. If there was ever a Jersey band. It was you guys. How did that play around the world?

"Well, you know what I always said that we're probably one of America and New Jersey's best export. As we played to 130 countries where people didn't know English, but yet they would show up in droves and sing our song. So I think the American message was, you know, you could be from nowhere and make it, you know, that's the American dream. And we, you know, we come from nowhere in New Jersey, and we went everywhere. So it's, you know, it's a fantastic story."

Did you ever imagine the band would get that big? And were you ever worried about it?

"I mean, never in your life. Could you ever just get a record deal? Is the biggest thing in your life; back then, that was the biggest thing in your life. And then just going out there and touring was the biggest thing in your life. You know, and for us, the first record did well. We sold 500,000 records, which was gold. The second record was 7800 Fahrenheit sold 800,000. So it didn't sell a million. So the record company was like, Well, the next one doesn't sell a million, they're going to be dropped. So it was "Slippery" with our Do or Die record. And then we sold 30 million records on "Slippery," 15 million inside of America and 15 million outside of America."

What made Slippery do so well?

"I think it just is when we found our own voice. As we knew like, even on the second record, production was a little slick."

"The videos were stories and slick. And then we went out and toured. And we played live, and people really responded to, you know, we're one of the greatest live bands. So, like, we should make a live-sounding record and make live videos. So what we did was exactly that, you know, "Slippery" isn't overproduced. It's just five guys playing. And then the video was us playing live. And I think that honesty of who we are and what we were, and what we still are really, you know, rang true. And that's what really matters, you know, that's not faking it there. That's telling where you come from, and that's what really hit home."

How hard was it following up slippery with another successful album, that'd be pressured there?

"We did 250 shows around the world, came home, wrote a record, went to Vancouver again, recorded it. And within three months, we were back on the road to another 250 shows. So for us, "New Jersey" gives you the experience of those songs are about being on the road, "Wanted Dead or Alive" is an example. But it was like our experience, and then we went back into the studio with the same team and made a live-sounding record again. And then we sold 20 million records around the world."

As for the drama that went on within the band, did you ever feel at any point that maybe you should have done more or held back or anything like that?

"John and I started it and put the band around it, and you know, Alex (Alex John Such) had his demons and fought them, but it didn't work out, and Tico (Tico Torres) had his demons, and he fought and won. You know, Richie had his demons and, you know, fought and lost. And so, for me, it was more important that demons weren't there for me because I just always put music first. And you know, luckily I didn't have an addictive behavior. And I just really cared About music"

You gave up pre-med with a 4.0 grade average to join the band. What was that like for you? What was that like for your parents?

"At the time, I was in Rutgers going there for premed. I got I auditioned for Juilliard. I got in. And then we got a record deal. So my parents were like, What are you going to do? I said I'm going to join a rock band. And they looked at me like I was crazy. And I said, let me give it one year, right? I put a time limit on it. I said, let me give it one year, when I come home, I won't be that much stupid. But I think I can do this. And thank God, I created the gap year"

Was there anything left out of the documentary that you would have liked to have seen in it?

"The greatest thing is, I got to see my life flashed by and still alive. Usually do that. And then you die. So for us, I think it's, as in the words of Bon Jovi, we're halfway there. So the next doc will be out in 40 years."

"Legendary," the first single from the new album, is climbing up the charts. How did it come to be?

"Writing for a record, there's probably 30 songs, 10 of each patch. And we go in and demo them. And then there's another 10, and then go in and demo. Another 10. And that one always stuck, you know, stood out. And once we recorded that, I said, I bet you there's the biggest hit since we've since "it's My Life". And we've been in the top four on the entire planet with that song. And now we have "Living Proof," which is a big old rock song. So, you know, the record is good."

Will this lead to a Bon Jovi tour?

"Jon, you saw in the documentary, he had surgery, he's overcome that made a great record sang his ass off, we still continue to rehearse. And so he could track his progress and, and get out there and, and Tour again once he can sustain two and a half hours for, you know, four days a week for four or five months. And then we'll be ready. So hopefully, next year, we'll be ready."

What can you tell us about "Forever" the new album which will be released on June 7?

"It's a big old rock and roll record, just like you heard" says Bryan ,"We got it. We went back down to Nashville, we recorded a couple of records there, and we just all sat in a room and rocked it out, you know, and it really shows that there's a lot of spirit. You know, that's the one thing you can't really gauge, you know, written down. But when you feel it, you could feel the spirit of all of us in that room and just wanting to kill it, and we did."

You're arguably John's closest friend. And this album was mostly written by Jon. Tell us about the songwriting. Tell us about the change and growth you've seen in Jon as he goes through everything you went through with the surgery.

"The songs are written, and then they're brought to the band, and then we take them and we make them Bon Jovi. You know, we all put our little touches on it." says Bryan "The songs are great, he writes great songs, and we take them and make them Bon Jovi."

So I think, this is the first time he's faced a physical challenge, you know, the whole world in 2018 and 19. On that little tour we did you know, he got some really some some bad reviews and he got some bad, really bad words at him."

"He was trying his ass off, but it wasn't his fault. It was a physical issue. So I think the documentary shows what happens. I think the record vindicates what he did, and then once we get out on tour, we're going to kick the world's ass again. And it's going to show all those naysayers and all the people that said you should quit and your voice is bad. It's not your fault when it's physical. That's the journey that I think the documentary starts the world on to understand that it wasn't his fault.

How did you feel when he said he may retire if he can't do it anymore?

You know what? I've always been, we've always been like, we laugh in the face of adversity, you do. So I mean, our band has been through some pretty heavy adversity. And this was just another. I've had operations Tico has, you know, we support each other."

"I'm there for John every day, you know, I'm there. We were there. me and Tico lifting him up. When he felt like he was falling down. You know, we're like, you can do this. And you need your brothers and arms to fight. You know, so we always fight together. So I know we're gonna, it will be a happy ending."

But they're only half way there!

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